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An Orange Accession

9200522e-61cf-403f-b9ae-08856b9c72a5We now have the first NDP government this province has ever seen.

How did this happen? In such a conservative, free-enterprise loving province as this?

We could focus on the faults of the former Progressive Conservative dynasty – now thoroughly and utterly extinct – or of the split of the right wing vote with the Wild Rose party, but I think that would miss the real point.

This was a youthquake.

The most important number in the election result was not the standings. It was the turnout. 59% of eligible voters came out. The young must have been torrid on social media. They wanted to express themselves. They were ready to speak. And they carried the day to a sweeping conclusion.

It had to be on social media. The potential upset was just starting to be manifest in polls prior to the vote. But otherwise, there were few indications that predicting such an outcome in the mainstream press.

So, as with the election of Calgary’s mayor, the young folks were activated in their media, they were twittering, facebooking. Although I’m informed that amongst the 18 – 25 crowd, Facebook is passe.

The outcome – democratic upset. “You wanted us to vote! So we did…” And they voted for change so we’d know the guard has truly changed. And that the critical mass has shifted to a younger generation. They are carrying the ball.

Now what?

To some this is a double whammy. First the oil price, now this. Our entrepreneurial friends in adjoining provinces [who’ve experimented with socialist governments] were quick to presage ruin.

I was rightly chastised in Edmonton by Michael Powell as I was speaking at our well-attended Gazelles seminar. Before I got there [to the need for planning] he chastised me for alarmist words on the impact of the oil price. He rightly emphasized that we have run afowl of these price cycles in the past. Our “can do” attitude and strong plans bring out the best in us and have always led us to calmer air.

In a similar vein, at a “retirement” dinner, Randy Karren, the protagonist – far from retiring but “stepping back” – issued a call to action to the largely non-NDP crowd. We have a new government. The NDP are new and they are ours. Now it is time for us to stop complaining and work with them so that they – and we – are successful.

The faith of our young citizens and prosperity of our Province depends on it.

Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

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Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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